LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — California’s top education official says the state’s students posted the ninth straight year of gains in English and math proficiency on this year’s standardized tests.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said Friday that the scores were the highest since the Standardized Testing and Reporting exams were revamped in 2003.

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> 2012: STAR Test Results – Search Your Child’s School

Students in grades 2 to 11 take the tests in the spring of each school year. Schools consider the tests a crucial measure of their success or failure.

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The number of students scoring proficient or above in English-language arts increased by 3 percentage points, to 57 percent, while math proficiency rose by 1 percentage point, to 51
percent.

Torlakson says although the results are encouraging, the state still has a long way to go, particularly for black and Latino students.

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